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Coastal Bhola in dire condition

Al Mamun . Barishal
21 Jun 2024 00:23:08 | Update: 21 Jun 2024 00:23:08
Coastal Bhola in dire condition
Cyclone Remal has left behind a trail of destruction breaching the embankment in Daulatkhan of Bhola –TBP

Cyclone Remal has wreaked havoc across various areas of the coastal district of Bhola under the Barishal Division, leaving numerous embankments destroyed and many families in dire condition, in need of urgent repair and rehabilitation.

According to local sources, the high tide caused by the cyclone has damaged approximately 13 kilometres of embankments in Bhola. The most severe damage occurred in two unions of Daulatkhan Municipality and Manpura Upazila. In Daulatkhan, about fifty families and several business establishments were forced to evacuate their homes and shops due to the destruction.

According to the Executive Engineer's Office of Bhola Water Development Board Division-1, Cyclone Remal hit the coast on the afternoon of May 26. On the day, the Meghna and Tetulia rivers in the district experienced a tide height of 3.69 metres, flowing 89 cm above the danger level.

About three kilometres of flood control embankments in Daulatkhan and Borhanuddin upazilas have been damaged. Although these embankments are under threat, repairs will commence soon, said the Water Development Board (WDB) officials.

Upon visiting the area, the correspondent observed severe erosion along the Tetulia River from Veduria Launch Ghat southward to Bank's Hat, Majirhat, and Badhazar areas in Bhola Sadar.

Approximately 200 metres of the embankment, from Hazari House in Ward No 2 of Daulatkhan Municipality to Patar Khal, collapsed into the Meghna River. During this time, four families living on the embankment were forced to demolish their homes and evacuate.

An affected fisherman, Mamun Majhi, stated that he sought refuge on this embankment due to repeated erosion. The high tide from Remal swept away his home, leaving him without a place to go. He sent his wife and child to a relative's house and stored his furniture at one end of the embankment. He hopes to rebuild his home if he can find another piece of land.

Thousands of homes and business establishments in Wards 1 and 2 of the Patar Khal area are at risk. Businessmen Jahangir Bepari and Zainal Abedin had to demolish and relocate their business premises on the embankment.

In Monpura Union, the areas of Purba Andir Par and Ramnewaz Launch Ghat were flooded by tidal waters. Several embankments in this area collapsed. The increased tidal water on the night Remal hit caused extensive damage to embankments outside Hajirhat and to the east side of Monpura Union. Residents are still living in difficult conditions.

Hajirhat Union Parishad Chairman Nizam Uddin Howlader reported four kilometres of embankment in the southeast area of the union were damaged, allowing tidal water to enter residential areas. The Water Development Board has been instructed to protect the embankment with sacks and geo bags.

Oliullah Kajal, chairman of South Sakuchia Union, reported that 4.5 kilometres of embankment in the southeast of his union collapsed, allowing water to enter. Locals said that without the embankment, more than 1,00,000 people in the char area were trapped in water for three days.

Bhola Water Development Board Supervising Engineer Hasan Mahmud confirmed that the high tidal waves from Remal have damaged many embankments. Repairs are ongoing for the 13 kilometres of damaged embankment in Daulatkhan, Monpura, Tazumuddin, Lalmohan, and Charfesson upazilas.